Sharing the Road ~Together

Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians – We all use the roads and we’d each prefer to do so without the other in the way.

Sometimes our own actions or the actions of others around us can put us in danger, especially when it comes to sharing the road. Although it is often unintentional, forgetting basic road etiquette can cause yourself or another harm and injury. Here are some safety tips that every motorist should know about sharing the roads:

  1. Drivers look for pedestrians when making turns, right? So why not take a couple extra seconds to look for a cyclist? The cyclist has the right of way if they are going straight and the driver is turning right.
  2. Pedestrians have responsibilities too. They should always avoid walking distracted.  Keep earbud volume low enough to hear oncoming traffic and do not text and walk.
  3. If you are a driver approaching pedestrians and/or cyclists, wait to pass them until you have a clear view ahead and are sure there’s no oncoming traffic. A little bit of patience could save your life.
  4. Signal your turns and do it in plenty of time. Using turn signals is not only a law for drivers but for cyclists as well. By using hand signals to determine which way you are turning, this can alert drivers, other cyclists, and pedestrians when they see you coming.

When you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, riding a bike or motorcycle, driving safely should always be your top concern. It’s crucial to know the basics of safe driving and practice them every time you’re on the road.  This will ensure that everyone can travel and stay safe together.

Stop! Before you go!

Doesn’t it seem that everyone on the road is in a rush to get somewhere?  Some are in such a hurry that they even disobey stop sign laws!

Recently, we have been noticing (and commuters have shared with us) that drivers are not completing full stops when approaching stop signs.  Many drivers tend to approach a stop sign, slow down, and then round off the turn without completely stopping. This is illegal and extremely dangerous!   Stop signs are put in place for everyone’s safety. Not only for the safety of the driver but for the safety of pedestrians, cyclist, and all others as well. Driving or rolling through a stop sign endangers everyone at the intersection.

Need to brush-up on stop sign laws?  Here is what you need to know:

  1. Come to a complete stop at a stop sign. The law specifies drivers need to stop “within five feet of the nearest crosswalk or stop line marked upon the pavement at the near side of the intersecting street.”
  2. Yield to the person on the right if you both arrive at the intersection at the same time.

It is everyone’s duty at the stop sign to follow the laws set in place.  Reaching your destination, despite how late you are, is not worth an accident.  Come to a complete stop at a stop sign.  For your safety and the safety of others!

Happy National Selfie Day!

June 21st is National Selfie Day! It’s a cinch to participate in this holiday. Just pose, snap, and post.

But most importantly, take that selfie safely.  Here’s how:

If you take a trip to the beach, getting the waves crashing behind you is a great way to show how you are spending your summer day.   Be sure to scan the area for any riptides and heed any lifeguard warnings.  Hold on tight to your phone too.  That wave crashing behind you can be far stronger than you think!

If you are going for a bike ride, the possibilities are endless of what you can share – action shots, landscapes, and your very cool bike gear.  While all these shots can be epic, it’s smarter to pull over and snap that picture than to take the picture while biking.

Spending the day walking with co-workers for lunch or dinner alfresco with friends? There is plenty to capture and share too.  Just remember to not snap and post that perfect selfie while walking.

Most importantly be aware of your surroundings.  That big smile you’ll post on social media for all to see should be fun and worry-free.   So snap that pic, and Get your Selfie on!

Ready, Set, Run!

Lace your sneakers. Check your watch. Stretch your legs.  But before taking a lap around your block, check out our running safety tips:

Do Not Run Alone. Having a friend or dog with you as a running partner will make you a less attractive target for potential attackers. This also helps inspire others to join you while being active and having fun.

Run Against Traffic. This helps prevent traffic related accidents, especially if you are someone who likes to run early in the morning or at dusk.

Look Both Ways. At any time during your run, be sure to look both ways before crossing the street. Staying aware of oncoming traffic and cars that may not see you.

Always Bring Your Cellphone. Having your cellphone handy while running is the best way to communicate with others in case of any accident or emergency.

Know Where You Are Going. Running confidently not only displays confidence but also allows you to enjoy your run without any confusion or disruptions.

It does not matter how fast you run or how far you may go. The most important thing is that you have fun and participate in safe ways. June 6th is National Running Day and the day promotes simply putting one foot in front of the other so you can get moving.

Put on your running shoes, grab your running partner and embrace the day!

Stop. Think. Act.

June is National Safety Month and there is no better time to brush up on your summer safety skills than right now. Temperatures are rising and schools are closing their doors for the summer. So whether you are at home, on the road or at play, safety should always be your first priority.

  1. While driving, you should: Make sure everyone in the car is wearing his or her seatbelt. Never drive under the influence or when drowsy. Never talk on your cell phone or text. Avoid aggressive driving and speeding. Be aware of children at play and other pedestrians.
  2. While riding a bike, you should: Always wear a helmet. Wear sneakers and/or another type of closed toed shoes. Be aware of your surroundings and cars on the road. When at an intersection always walk your bike across the street.
  3. While simply enjoying the outdoors, you should: Be aware of the temperature and heat. Always protect your skin by using sunscreen and wearing a hat. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

There are 92 days in the summer season, here on the northeast.  Make the most of each day – safe and smart.

Happy Summer, Friends!

PS.  we do not recommend driving with legs out of the car window – only when safely parked enjoying summer sunrises, days, or sunsets 😉

Taking the Keys Away

At some point in time you will feel the concern or even the fear that your parents or elderly friends should no longer drive a vehicle. For anyone, this can be a very difficult and emotional experience. Knowing when its the right time to take away the keys requires important deliberations, considerations and possible actions that you the caregiver will have to face.

The first thing you should know is that a person’s age is not and shouldn’t be the reason for taking away their car keys. There are people in their 80s and 90s who have their licenses and drive actively and safely, while there are others in their 50s and 60s who are dangers to themselves and others when behind the wheel. The physical and mental conditions and the persons abilities are the first factors you need to consider. Driving takes dexterity and strength in both arms and legs/feet to be able to control the vehicle at all times. If your physical ability is off then the whole driving performance will be off too, which can cause an accident.

The second thing you need to consider is if the driver is on any medications or if they have any diseases. Alzheimer’s disease is very common and the driver can become disoriented almost anywhere and severe diabetics may fall into a coma at anytime. Along with these diseases, prescription medications can produce specific changes or functions within the body. Some reactions may be drowsiness and possibly slowing down person’s reaction time, which may effect a person’s ability to drive.

If you aren’t sure how to determine if its time to take away your parents keys, do a ride along with them. Taking a ride with your parent is the best way to observe his or her physical abilities in controlling the vehicle, staying within the lane, how they handle turns, the driving speed, and for any possible confusions in traffic. Make sure that your observations are done without nagging them on or causing a distraction for them. Lastly, be sure that when you finally decide that its time, that you are respectful and understanding when speaking with the driver. This can always be an emotional time for them, so being honest and providing them comfort will help make this experience a lot less stressful.

Safety Tips for Back to School

bigstock-Watch-Out-For-Children-427446As children across Middlesex County head #backtoschool this week, they will again be sharing the roads with school buses, other young pedestrians, and bicyclists.  Whether your children walk, ride their bike, or take the bus, help ensure they take the proper safety precautions​.

Children who walk to school:  When walking, stay on the sidewalk if one is available. If the street does not have a sidewalk, walk facing the traffic so as to have a clear view of the traffic.  When crossing a street,  look left, right and left again to see if any cars, buses, or bicyclists are coming.  If possible, make a point to set time aside to practice walking their route to school.  Together you can use pedestrians signals, ensure they are crossing streets correctly, and get a good idea of the path they are taking.

Children who bike to school: When riding a bike to and from school, children should always wear a proper fitted helmet and sneakers at all times. The same procedures apply when crossing the street.  Riders must come to complete stop, look left, right and left again, and always walk their bike across the street. Parents should practice and teach children the rules of the road to help insure they get to school safe and sound.

Children who ride the bus to school: Rain or shine, the big yellow bus gets the children to school. To ensure a safe ride to school, make sure children stand six feet away from the curb when a bus is pulling up or driving away. Remind children to fasten their seat belts and to remain seated throughout the ride.  While it’s exciting to chat with friends, children should keep  screaming and jumping for the playground and home so that the driver can focus on the road.

Regardless of how children make their way to school, we wish everyone a safe and enjoyable school year!

Big Game Day Safety Tips

This Sunday marks the day football fans across the US wait for all year – the Big Game!   Whether you are hosting or attending a local gathering, be sure to play it smart and be safe.

Are you hosting?

1. Be sure your guests have designated drivers or check whether they have planned to use Uber or Lyft.

2.Keep the numbers of local cabs handy.

3. Serve high protein foods and make sure to have plenty of water and non-alcoholic drinks on hand.

4. Stop serving alcohol at the beginning of the 4th quarter.  Brew a large pot of coffee or tea and serve dessert.

 

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Are you attending a party or joining friends at a local bar?

1. Pace yourself and make sure to eat and alternate with water or other non-alcohol paintings.

2. Be sure to have a designated driver or give your keys to your party host.

3. Stop drinking at the beginning of the 4th quarter and order a coffee.

 

Remember the Big Game is supposed to a fun gathering with family and friends, together cheering and celebrating.  Be safe and be smart.

 

Tips Source: http://www.nj.gov/oag/Superbowl-SafetyTips(2×3).pdf

Winter Walking Safety Tips

http://health.sunnybrook.ca/wellness/safety-tips-winter-walking-snow/
Photo Credit *

Now that the winter has arrived temperatures will be dropping and snow will fall from the sky. With snow comes ice, and with ice comes slips and falls. Mother Nature might be the one to blame for the sleet and snow, but who is to blame for the slips and falls?

As a pedestrian it’s your job to be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you know that snow is headed your way make sure to plan ahead. Here’s how:

Before you walk out the door, make sure that you wear the proper footwear. Proper footwear should place the entire foot on the surface of the ground, like sneakers or snow boots. You should avoid a smooth sole and shoes with flat bottoms.

While walking on snow or icy sidewalks or parking lots, always walk consciously. Be sure to take your time and don’t rush. People think that by looking down while walking helps, when really this isn’t true. Instead of looking down, you should look up and see where your feet will move next. This method allows you to anticipate ice or any uneven surfaces. Along with taking your time, you should occasionally scan from left to right to ensure that you aren’t in the way of vehicles or other hazards.

Injuries during the winter aren’t always from slipping on ice, but can also result from falling snow/ice as it blows, melts, or breaks away from awnings, buildings, etc. If you are a home or business owner, make sure sidewalks and walkways (and any overhangs) are cleared of any snow, ice or other slippery materials that could get in the way of the pedestrian.

Whether you’re walking to and from parking lots, between buildings at work, or even at home on your sidewalk, walk cautious and walk alert. Slips and falls are the most frequent types of injuries that occur during the winter season. No matter how well the snow and ice is removed from parking lots and sidewalks, it’s imperative to walk smart.

 

*http://health.sunnybrook.ca/wellness/safety-tips-winter-walking-snow/

Back to School Safety

Picture Source: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/back-to-school-safety-tips-for-drivers.aspx
Picture Source: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/back-to-school-safety-tips-for-drivers.aspx

With #backtoschool in full swing, many of us have noticed the inevitable; more cars and more congestion.  Back to school means sharing the roads and slowing down. There are school buses picking up kids from multiple stops, kids on bikes are rushing to get to school on time, and parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.

If you are someone who is dropping off your kids to school, make sure that the area is clear before letting them get out of the car. More children are hit by cars/buses near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. Before dropping off your kids be sure you are not double parked. This blocks visibility for other vehicles passing by. Do not drop off your kids across the street from their school, even though it may be more convenient for you. Carpooling is also a great way to reduce the number of vehicles around the school, which decreases the chances of a child getting hit.  Don’t block crosswalks- especially when you are stopped at a red light. Be sure to give the pedestrians the right away, whether they are walking or riding a bike. When you are in school zone and flashers are blinking, be sure to come to a complete stop and watch for children. Lastly, do your best to watch out for your children in school zones, playgrounds and residential areas, as well as the other children around them.

During school hours, there will be more and more school buses on the roads. If you are ever driving behind a school bus, you should always allow a greater following distance than you would driving behind a car. This then allows you to have more time to stop once the bus puts on it’s yellow flashing lights. Never pass a school bus if you are stopped behind them while they are picking up children. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. Passing a school bus from either direction on an undivided road, can potentially put children who are loading or unloading in danger if they are unaware that you are coming.

We are all responsible – as pedestrians and drivers, to make #backtoschool a safe return!